Cruise not to blame for NO2, finds study

AQMesh AQMesh pods measured NO, NO2, O3 alongside PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 at the Port of Kiel. Credit: AQMesh

Air quality monitors used at the Port of Kiel to measure emissions of nitrous oxides (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM) around its cruise ship terminal have shown that cruise ships are not responsible for high levels of NO2.

Eurofins and Olfasense partnered to combine AQMesh monitors featuring sensor technology with the Ortelium dynamic atlas system, to measure and study levels of NO2 and PM at the cruise ship terminal in Germany over several months.

AQMesh pods, manufactured in the UK by Environmental Instruments Ltd and supplied by German distributor Envilyse, measured NO, NO2, O3 alongside PM1, PM2.5 and PM10, as well as relative humidity, temperature and atmospheric pressure. After being co-located with passive samplers at the installation site to provide the greatest degree of accuracy, real time sensor data from the AQMesh pods was fed into the Ortelium system.

Cruise not at fault

The Ortelium system allowed measurements from the AQMesh pods to be visualised in real time and, combined with meteorological data feeds, showed how the emission levels changed during arrival, berthing and departure of the cruise ships.

Data analysis from this study concluded high levels of NO2 could not be attributed to cruise ships. This is similar outcome to a study carried out at a UK airport, which concluded that local traffic was in fact more of an issue than the airport activity.

Plumes from shipping are notoriously difficult to detect and analyse from land, but AQMesh now has a carbon dioxide (CO2) sensor which allows a combustion plume to be detected from elevated CO2 levels.

AQMesh pods can now monitor up to six gases using the latest generation of sensors, as well as PM1, PM2.5, PM10 and total particle count (TPC) with a light-scattering optical particle counter.

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